Monday, January 7, 2019

The Winners in Retail, 2018

Walmart isn't the only retailer already winning...

By Lauren Thomas, CNBC

In any competition, there are winners and losers. And among retailers competing for customers, the winners of 2018 beat their rivals by providing faster delivery, better online and mobile shopping options, and the trendiest products.

Those who failed or were slow to adapt? Bon-Ton, Sears, Mattress Firm and David's Bridal were among the slew of retailers that filed for bankruptcy in 2018. Toys R Us also closed all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy near the end of 2017.

But that doesn't mean consumers weren't whipping out their wallets and filling their shopping carts ahead of the new year. Many headed in throngs to off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx and big-box chains like Walmart. Here's a better look at some of the winners in retail to round out 2018.

To read the article in full, click here...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

These Retail Trends May Not Make It Through 2019

This author believes fast fashion and grocery delivery are the biggest retail trends that will come to an end next year.  I would love to get your opinion.  By Kelsi Maree Borland | December 07, 2018

The retail industry is rapidly evolving, and trends that were once mainstays have been dying out. This has manifested as major store closures in the last couple of years, and unfortunately, we aren’t out of the dark yet. In 2019, expect fast fashion brands like H&M and Forever 21 to start to show signs of trouble, according to Sean Slater of Retail Design Collaborative.

Fast fashion isn’t the only retail trend that Slater expects to end next year. Grocery delivery efforts, he says, are also on their way out—despite the recent surge in attention. “Curbside pick-up has been a start and stop process over the last few years. We have seen a ton of investment from Walmart, Kroger and Target into this idea, but I think that we are going to have another downturn in the importance of that,” he explains. “This year, there have been a huge capital investment into curbside pick-up, but I think that those investments will go on pause. It is going to be much more about the in-store satisfaction and much less about how fast you can pick up a bag of groceries.”

To read the rest of the article, click here...

Amazon Fresh Future in Doubt?

Some Amazon Fresh customers are slamming the grocery-delivery service over disappearing and ruined orders, and it raises questions about its future., Dennis Green.

Some customers are saying that Amazon Fresh is growing rotten.

The online grocery-delivery service has undergone many changes in the past year, and it's racking up poor customer reviews as its future — and its place within the Amazon Prime ecosystem — is increasingly being questioned.

Business Insider spoke with more than a dozen Amazon Fresh customers who said they had experienced issues with the service in places like Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. These customers complained of poor-quality and even spoiled produce, orders being packed incorrectly or illogically, canceled or late deliveries, and regularly missing items.

To read more of this article, click here...

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Dramatic 10% Increase in Top Retailer Foot Traffic (foot traffic analytics platform) just released its initial ‘Retail Index’ measuring foot traffic at over 24,000 major retail brands and shopping centers across the United States, comparing the Black Friday weekend in 2018 vs Black Friday weekend visits for 2017.

Key takeaways for the Black Friday weekend 2018 shopping period include:

  • Overall foot traffic increased 10.1% year over year at the top 30 retailers, as compared to 2017. 
  • The top 3 retailers in the Retail Index for the Thanksgiving weekend 2018 were Hobby Lobby, Ulta Beauty, and T.J. Maxx, each delivering a 26% increase in foot traffic. 
  • As a category, mass merchants like Walmart and Target showed the largest lift in traffic, at 12% year over year increase compared to 2017.
To read more key takeaways, click here...

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mall Doctors: Filling Vacant Retail with Medical Office


As health care systems consolidate and consumers expect easier access to medical care, empty storefronts and abandoned shopping malls are increasingly transforming into health care hubs.

CVS now operates more than 1,100 MinuteClinics within its pharmacies as well as some Target stores, and recently bought the insurance company Aetna, further shifting its role from simply a drugstore to a health care provider. According to Eric Johnson, national director of Transwestern, who spoke at CRE.Converge 2018 in Washington, D.C., 20 percent growth in these “quick clinics” is expected over the next five years.

With the recent announcement of Sears filing for bankruptcy, significant square footage will be available to be retrofitted for medical use. Empty retail space can be and is often be used for “urgent care, freestanding emergency departments, wellness centers, primary care clinics, pediatric clinics, women’s clinics, dermatology, eye care, and plastic surgery,” Johnson explained. “Larger stores can house multispecialty clinics, or combine with pharmacy, imaging and ancillary services to provide more convenience to the consumer.” Some sites are even offering outpatient surgery rather than just diagnostic services or considering micro hospitals.

Some medical facilities have long been anchored in retail space, such as dialysis, post-acute rehabilitation and behavioral health services. These services typically serve uninsured patients.

One model of the transformation of retail to medical is Duke Health’s creation of an outpatient health center in a former 180,000-square-foot Macy’s in Durham, North Carolina’s 900,000-square-foot Northgate Mall. “The site had an excellent location and visibility,” explained Tony Ruggeri, co-managing director of ATR & Associates, Inc. What was once a department store now houses internal medicine, primary care, urgent care, women’s care, pediatric care, outpatient surgery, orthopedics and cardiac care.

In Houston, bookseller Barnes & Noble closed three stores, and the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic took the opportunity to consolidate 10 different physician groups that were scattered across the city, adding pharmacy and imaging, into one 20,000-square-foot block of retail space.

The primary case study of the session was the build-out of a new Vanderbilt Health campus in what was an unsightly mall in Nashville, Tennessee, that residents remembered fondly but now avoided visiting. “When we took on the 100 Oaks Mall project, everyone said, ‘What were they thinking?’ recalled Ruggeri. “It was an enormous site – the mall ran 2,000 linear feet, from JC Penney to what used to be a Woolco.” The 18,400 square feet included two levels of retail with some three-level areas and an adjacent five-story office tower, set on 56 acres.

“It was a great location,” Ruggeri explained, “visible to 135,000 cars daily on I-65. It’s right across the interstate from the highest-income part of Nashville. And it had ground-level retailers with strong sales. It was the second and third levels and the office space that was dying.” There was also a shortage of restaurants nearby and serious problems with the traffic patterns going in and out of the mall area.

When Vanderbilt University Medical Center expressed interest in using the former mall space as medical suites, the developer had to take an environment no one even wanted to shop in and make it a modern and attractive health care center. Where stores used to be there were clinics, with a central waiting area in the open area in the middle. The buildout took less than two years, whereas constructing a medical facility from scratch typically takes five to seven. Rebranding the site simply meant dropping “mall” from the name and calling it Vanderbilt Health’s 100 Oaks campus. Soon, patients and doctors alike were choosing 100 Oaks over the main campus because of convenience. Vanderbilt reached its projected 2013 patient count at the new site by December 2011. The retailers that remain on the property are thriving, as are the four restaurants that were built on the grounds.

While licensing, zoning and other specific requirements must be met to enable a medical facility to be built in what was formerly a retail space, the benefits and opportunities of expanding high-quality health care more broadly into communities seem to far outweigh the potential obstacles.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Pop-ups Rule the Retail!

Why Halloween pop-ups suddenly possess so many dead retail spaces

This Washington Post article by Taylor Telford reports on how  Americans will drop about $9 billion in celebration of Halloween this year. Halloween's craziness and camp are fun precisely because they are temporary — and so are the stores that sell it to us.

Halloween pop-up stores benefit from people’s last-minute shopping tendencies and the flaws of online shopping, such as poor-fitting costumes and unreliable delivery, while landlords with dead retail space benefit from pop-ups' need for instant store fronts. It’s a win for landlords, who get a tenant that will pay higher rent for just two or three months of occupancy.

To read more on this article, click here...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Quick-Serve Brands Performing in the Drive Thru

The 2018 QSR Drive-Thru Study

This recent article from QSR Magazine discusses how pressures on drive-thru performance, particularly speed of service and accuracy, have become ever more intense. The continuing importance of the outdoor lane is clashing with the fact that as traffic increases in the drive thru, service times are slowing down. 

To read the full article, click here...